After the idyllic Lake Vråvatn, the first stop is the disused coppermine at Åmdal Verk, where copper was mined from 1540 to 1945. The well-stocked museum offers daily walks 1200 m into the depths of the mountain. Open 9th June to 12th August. The next stop is Grimdalstunet, an old farm complex with 10 old wooden buildings, the hildhood home of the sculptor Anne Grimdalen. Many of her works are on display. Open 25th My to 19th August. See www.vest-telemark.museum.no.
Continue down to the municipal centre at Dalen. Situated only 70 m above sea level, an unusually favourable local climate helters many rare orchids and other heat-loving plants and trees. The tourist route on the Bandak (Telemark) Canal ends at the Dalen pier. A cup of coffee or a meal at the tradition-rich Dalen Hotel – a large wooden building in the extravagantly romantic dragonhead style – lets you re-live the early years of tourism of more than a hundred years ago. At Dalen you may venture into the mountainside to see the Tokke Power Station, in its time Scandinavia’s largest hydroelectric plant, with free guided tours and a multimedia energy generation display.
A detour (15 km) to the Ravnejuv gorge is recommended. Take the RV 38 towards Åmot to Liosvingen and then the county road towards Gøytil. From the road a path (about 200 m) leads to a 350 m vertical cliff on the Tokke river. If you dare to throw a banknote to the winds, it will float back to you on the ascending air stream. Ravnejuv gorge has been a classic tourist attraction for over a century!
Back at Dalen, your trip continues to Eidsborg Stave Church, a distinctive, neat little church from the 13th entury. Close by you can study more than 30 old wooden buildings at Vest-Telemark Museum, with one of the country’s finest exhibitions of silver-mounted knives and national costume silver. Open 15th May to 30th August. See www.vest-telemark.museum.no. Drive on to Morgedal, birthplace of skiing pioneer Sondre Norheim and South Pole explorer Olav Bjaaland. At Norsk Skieventyr you may experience a trip through the history of skiing by means of modern audiovisual technology. You should also take the time to visit the cottage of Sondre Norheim. Open 20th May to 31st August. See www.morgedal.com and www.vest-telemark.museum.no.
On your way back to Vrådal you should make a detour to the municipal centre Kviteseidbyen. Waldenstrøms Bakeri og Kafé is famous for its strong coffee and new-baked cakes. The round trip will take a whole day and the driving distance will be about 140 km.